Friday, March 25, 2011

Stout-Marinated Pork Tenderloin

Here's the last of "cooking with beer" recipes from the article I did earlier this month in the Athens Banner-Herald. It's a beer version of a pork dish I would normally cook with red wine. But Guinness Stout gives more complexity and heartiness to the dish.

The malty dark ales, stout and porter, have many layers of flavor and lend themselves to marinating meat, especially pork. Paired with the sweet and sharp overtones of molasses, stout is outstanding in cooking, and shows up in many dishes at pubs and brew houses.

Beer is the traditional accompaniment for food cooked with beer. Beer experts wax poetic about the nuances of pairing particular beers with particular dishes. My knowledge of beers is such that I'll leave that task to the experts. (Plus, I'll confess that I prefer wine with food).

The recipe serves six to eight.

Stout-Molasses Marinated Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin (about 11/2 pounds)

3/4 cup stout or porter (Georgia micro-brewed stouts and porters are only available seasonally, but include Terrapin Moo Hoo and Red Brick Porter; otherwise use Guinness Stout)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 medium shallot or 1/2 small onion, finely minced

4 teaspoons molasses (not "blackstrap")

Canola or olive oil for frying

3 tablespoons heavy cream

2 teaspoons finely minced parsley for garnish.

Slice pork 1/2-inch thick.

In bowl, mix beer, salt and pepper. Add pork and marinate 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, mince shallot or onion.

Remove pork from marinade, and place on plate. Keep marinade. Stir molasses into it.

Heat large frying pan to medium high. Add several tablespoons oil. Fry pork, half at a time. Turn the pieces several times, until lightly browned. Add a little oil as needed. Remove pork.

Add a little oil, if needed, to pan. Fry shallots or onions, stirring well, until softened. Add marinade mixture, and stir as it bubbles for half a minute.

Return pork to pan. Braise for about 2 minutes, turning pieces several times.

Stir in cream and move pork pieces around while sauce comes to a bubble. Remove from heat.

Arrange pork slices on platter. Taste sauce, and add salt if necessary. Spoon sauce over pork. Dust with minced parsley.


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